I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that so many of the guys I know shop at Uniqlo. My partner, Brad, considers it his favorite store for clothes because “it’s easy…the way it’s laid out“. I see men shopping there who are in their teens alongside guys who are in their 30’s and even 60’s or older. It also attracts a wide array of styles from hipsters to traditionalists. And perhaps most significantly, I always see more men in the store than women – makes sense now that I know from their CMO, Steven Sare, that they consider their men’s business primary (for most retailers, men are secondary). And, btw, check out their website. It’s terrific. Link here.
This recent Business Insider post by Ashley Lutz lays out exactly how Uniqlo got men to love shopping. Link to full article below but the key reasons given definitely match what my guy friends have been telling me.
Not trendy (but stylish)
“The clothes are fairly basic and you don’t have to be a fashionista to figure out how to wear them,” Laura Gurski, a partner of the Retail Practice at consultancy A.T. Kearney, told Business Insider. “Men like this because they can mix and match fairly easily, and don’t have to think too hard about it.”
Uniqlo was the first company to market the performance qualities of its workwear. They sell work pants that are guaranteed to keep men cool. It also sells a polo with “technology so sweat dries for a smooth, dry, and comfortable feel.” Having a product with value and functionality is something that appeals to men over fashion.
By offering huge quantities of a few items, Uniqlo can better negotiate on the price of the fabrics it uses. Low prices particularly interest men, because they care more about practicality than fashion when shopping.
Uniqlo’s clothing is often more fitted than [offerings from] competitors, because they have done extensive research on what male shoppers want to wear and realized that a significant segment of men don’t want to wear a shirt that looking like a box; they want fitted clothes. They also offer complimentary tailoring on jeans, a great perk considering most of the brand’s pants cost less than $50.